29-30 October, 2021 [Friday from 12.15pm to 6pm and Saturday from 12pm to 5pm]; Cavanagh Pharmacy Building LG 51 and the Aula Maxima (for limited numbers)
The aim of this symposium is to draw attention to one of the treasures of early Irish literature, that is early Irish lyric poetry. This poetry, along with medieval Welsh poetry, constitutes the earliest vernacular literature in Europe (excluding the Classics) but the voices in these texts are rarely heard. The speakers will consider a selection of these lyrics in turn and will take into account text, context, translations, the various voices speaking in these poems and the themes that are found in the corpus.
Themes and topics will include the reception of Murphy's edition of Early Irish Lyrics during the course of the last 65 years, the monastic figure living with his cat Pangur Bán, St Colum Cille on his 1,500th birthday, St Íte and the infant Christ, the Caillech Bérri or the Old Woman of Beara, the thwarted lovers Liadain and Cuirithir, nature poetry, vision poetry, pit-falls when translating medieval texts, poems from Agallamh na Seanórach or the Colloquy of the Ancients and the Finn Cycle, love poetry, lament, otherworld poems and Suibne Geilt or Mad Sweeney. The symposium will conclude with readings of a selection from the anthology in the original Old Irish side-by-side with readings of Modern Irish or English versions of the poems. This particular session will also include some music and one or two other surprises.